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A&A Electroplaters: Champion employer in Dandenong

By September 23, 2022October 11th, 2022No Comments

A&A Electroplaters is a plating service in Dandenong South that was recently named a finalist for NESA’s Champion Employer of the Year Award 2022.

It is a small family business with a big heart. At its core is owner Mark McHale who has helped more than a dozen disadvantaged Australians find a secure job in his company.

His ethos: “If you want to work, I’ll give you a go.”

Currently, 12 out of 15 of Mark’s employees are sourced from government employment services; 10 are from Jobfind. Mark began using government employment services eight years ago after receiving poor return on his investment via major online recruitment platforms.

Now, Jobfind is his first and preferred source of employees, and the only employment service he works with.

Mark McHale with his Champion Employer of the Year award

Local investment in Dandenong

Known as a manufacturing hub, Dandenong represents the ideal home from which A&A Electroplaters can base its operations and grow its workforce.

Dandenong, in the Southern Melbourne Peninsula region, faces significant issues of high unemployment and low incomes compared to the rest of Victoria. The disadvantage extends to young people who experience greater disengagement from the workforce than their Victorian and national peers.

That’s why Mark is determined to hire local people into entry level positions, train and upskill them, and offer them “a job for life if you want it.”

Working with Jobfind assists Mark to connect with local residents who are motivated to move off income support and have Jobfind’s extra support to help them prepare to work and maintain their employment.

More than just a job, Mark deeply understands that employment brings stability, security and the prospect of a better future. As a member of SEMMA (South East Melbourne Manufacturers Alliance), Mark is also giving back to the community via philanthropy programs with the local high school.

Supporting the most disadvantaged people into work

Jobfind’s participants in the local area include a high percentage of people with low skill levels, English as a second language, ex-offenders and people with a disability. And Mark has hired Jobfind’s participants from every cohort.

The selection criteria that matter to Mark is a willingness to work, a commitment to show up, and a capacity to learn.

Mark’s workplace practices are specifically tailored to be inclusive to people facing multiple barriers to work:

  • Using Jobfind as his No. 1 recruitment source for talent
  • Pairing new employees with an experienced ‘buddy’ as they learn each process
  • Systematic processes for step-by-step and hands-on learning
  • Opportunities to expand skills and mastery of the entire business

The team at A&A Electroplaters

Because two-thirds of his current workforce is sourced via Jobfind’s Recruitment Consultant, Danielle LeCouteur, Mark and Danielle are in regular contact. They communicate about Mark’s workforce needs and Mark testifies he trusts Danielle to help him overcome any obstacles to a person’s sustained employment if they arise.

A champion employer for local people

Danielle is often on site at A&A Electroplaters to visit her participants as they settle into their new job. Many of them have not been confident to start in a new industry but Danielle has been able to reassure them of the genuine opportunities at A&A Electroplaters.

“I can tell them that Mark looks after his people that show up and want to work,” says Danielle.

When a gentleman who had been door-knocking more than 100 local businesses approached Mark for a job, Mark was impressed by his tenacity an offered him a start even though he was unskilled.

A criminal record, limited English or drug use are not prohibitive barriers to working at A&A Electroplaters.

“Mark gives a go to job seekers that others say ‘no’ to,” says Danielle.

With an unwavering commitment to equality and a fair go, Mark is a firm believer that everyone deserves a second chance.

“In return, they don’t want to let me down,” says Mark.

A NESA Award for Excellence

Jobfind nominated A&A Electroplaters for the  NESA Award  for Champion Employer of the Year 2022 and were delighted when the business was recognised as a finalist. The award recognises the business for its excellence in providing opportunities for disadvantaged individuals to thrive in sustained employment.

Following the Government’s recent Jobs and Skills Summit, the focus on getting more disadvantaged Australians into the workforce and creating more accessible and inclusive workplaces has never been more in the spotlight.

CEO of NESA Sally Sinclair says the award sets a ‘benchmark of excellence’ within the employment services sector.

Presenting the awards, Minister for Social Services Hon Amanda Rishworth said: “Everyone deserves the opportunity and dignity of a career and meaningful work.”

Chief Executive Officer of Jobfind, Ms Karena Newland said: “Mark has put inclusive recruitment and retention practices at the heart of his business and the employment opportunities he has provided our participants has literally changed their lives.”

Click here to download the press release.

Jobfind’s no-cost recruitment service

Jobfind works with local employers to help them find, train and retain suitable people to join their business. As a government employment services provider, Jobfind can also help eligible employers access up to $10,000 in government wage subsidies to employ new staff (eligibility criteria apply).

Read more information for employers here: